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State Department To Columbia University Students: DO NOT Discuss WikiLeaks On Facebook, Twitter

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Rob Fishman
Huffington Post
Dec 5, 2010

Talking about WikiLeaks on Facebook or Twitter could endanger your job prospects, a State Department official warned students at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs this week.

An email from SIPA’s Office of Career Services went out Tuesday afternoon with a caution from the official, an alumnus of the school. Students who will be applying for jobs in the federal government could jeopardize their prospects by posting links to WikiLeaks online, or even by discussing the leaked documents on social networking sites, the official was quoted as saying.

“[The alumnus] recommends that you DO NOT post links to these documents nor make comments on social media sites such as Facebook or through Twitter,” the Office of Career Services advised students. “Engaging in these activities would call into question your ability to deal with confidential information, which is part of most positions with the federal government.”

While the massive disclosure of once-classified documents detailing some of the nation’s most tightly-guarded secrets has inflamed allies and enemies alike, the move by the State Department represents a new front in the administration’s campaign against unauthorized leaks.

Philip J. Crowley, spokesman for the State Department, denied in an email message any federal involvement:

This is not true. We have instructed State Department employees not to access the WikiLeaks site and download posted documents using an unclassified network since these documents are still classified. We condemn what Mr. Assange is doing, but have given no advice to anyone beyond the State Department to my knowledge.

When asked why Columbia — which confirmed to the New York Times earlier today that an email had been sent from its offices — would have sent the message, Crowley said, “If an employee of the State Department sent such an email, it does not represent a formal policy position.”

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This article was posted: Sunday, December 5, 2010 at 8:44 am





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